Tag Archives: Human evolution

The extraordinary low probability of intelligent life

Marc Defant gave a TEDx talk on the improbable events that had to happen in our planet’s history for us to eventually evolve, along with the implications for other intelligent life in the galaxy. I find a lot to agree … Continue reading

Posted in Space | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

The necessity of dexterity for civilization

Today’s SMBC highlights something about humanity that is often overlooked, something that any extraterrestrial intelligence that builds a civilization would have to have. Click through for hover-text and red button caption. Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – The Mammal Conspiracy … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Is there a moral arc to history?

The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. As someone who isn’t able to find an objective basis for morality, I’ve often wondered what that means for the above statement from Martin Luther King.  It certainly … Continue reading

Posted in History, Morality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

The power of symbolic thought

One of the things I’ve pondered a few times on this blog is our ability to recognize another intelligence, such as an extraterrestrial intelligence.  On the face of it, this seems straightforward.  Do they form societies, use technology, manipulate their environment, … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

First Peoples and Neanderthals

This weekend, I finished off the last of the ‘First Peoples‘ PBS miniseries on prehistoric humans.  If  you’ve watched other documentaries on human prehistory and found them interesting, then you’ll want to watch this one to get the latest findings. … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Religion, the Axial Age, and theoretic culture

I recently read the late Robert Bellah’s ‘Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age.’  Although the title of the book seems to narrow it to just religion, in ancient societies, religion was just about everything, so … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

World’s Oldest Art Identified in Half-Million-Year-Old Zigzag

I’ve noted before that I think capabilities like human language didn’t pop into being 50-75 thousand years ago, but developed over hundreds of thousands of years (if not millions).  Well, it looks like another piece of behavioral modernity may predate … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments